Joe Biden pledged to immediately release internal campaign statistics on the diversity of his campaign staff – information he has resisted disclosing for months – at a. virtual town hall Saturday.
“I will release data diversity staff to you today, as soon as we get off this call,” he promised moderator Amna Nawaz of “PBS Newshour,” who pushed him on the question at a forum on Asian American and Pacific Islander issues.
He addressed his team directly – who, he said, was listening in – and instructed them to “pick up the phone and call her.”
“My administration is going to look like America,” he promised. “The fact that we’re going to be a reflection of who we are as a nation.”
Biden has long boasted of minority representation within his campaign. “I have the most diverse staff of anybody running. Usually always done that, ”he insisted in an NPR interview last December.
But unlike Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in 2016 and most of his 2020 rivals, Biden has never backed up that claim with evidence. Buzzfeed News reported This week – and the former veep is under increasing pressure to choose a minority female running mate.
In Saturday’s forum, Biden pledged to reverse President Trump’s restrictive immigration policies, promising to increase caps on legal immigrants to 125,000 a year, to let at least 95,000 refugees enter the U.S. annually and to end Trump’s recent clampdown on employment-based H1B visas.
“People on these visas built this country,” he said.
And he took a dig at his GOP rival when asked whether he should emerge from coronavirus seclusion in his Delaware home as the election season heats up.
“The more Donald Trump is out there, the worse he does,” Biden said. “I think it’s wonderful that all gone out … his numbers have dropped through the floor.”
Trump did not participate in the virtual forum, instead sending campaign surrogate Eddie Baza Calvo, the former governor of Guam, who defended Trump against accusations of racism sparked by his jocular use of the term “Kung Flu” to describe COVID-19.
“It’s got to tell you, my president is unorthodox with his words,” Calvo said – adding that the term first appeared in 2015, with a local Veterans Administration campaign urging vets to get flu shots.
“If you take a look at history, that Kung Flu comment even came from the Obama administration,” he said.